In the DWR's latest mule deer management plan, written in 2003, they state one of the goals is to expand and improve mule deer populations. Objective No. 1 is to increase the statewide population to 320,000. Objective No. 2 is to increase buck/doe ratios.
Their strategies to meet these objectives include shortening the hunting seasons, weapon restrictions and vehicle access management.
Why doesn't their strategy include closing the hunt entirely, or closing some hunting areas? It has worked in the past. Money! $6 million is the amount of money the DWR gets just from the sale of general season deer permits. With this amount of money involved, is it any wonder why they will not close the hunt or cut the number of permits sold?
With current population virtually unchanged since this plan was put into place and current estimates around 290,000 far from the goal, isn't it time for a plan that will work?